Why a Master’s Degree in Accounting Will Help You Excel in the Columbus Job Market
Looking for a secure career with plenty of growth opportunities and strong salaries? Accounting is one of the Columbus jobs that meets the bill. Jobs for accountants and auditors in Columbus are expected to grow 6% over the next 10 years.
Combine that job growth with median salaries of $68,819 and an economy in need of savvy financial professionals and you can see why it pays to be an accountant in Columbus. But with top job prospects comes hot competition for those jobs.
If you want to succeed as an accountant, a CPA is a given. But how else do you set yourself apart? Next-level accountants are turning to master’s degrees in accounting to prove their deep expertise and management ability to leading employers.
Columbus Provides a Multitude of Job Opportunities for Accountants
In 2019, there were 11,043 accountants and auditors in the Columbus region. When compared to the national average for comparable markets, there are 1,718 more employed here in Columbus. Also, more jobs are posted in Columbus each month, with 524 new postings compared to 416 in similar markets.
What does that all add up to? High demand for accountants and auditors. This higher than average supply of jobs may make it easier to find employment in Columbus than in equivalent job markets. But finding a job and securing the best job are two different things.
“National CPA firms, banking, insurance, and other leading industries in Columbus are all looking for accountants with a higher caliber of education and credentials. Getting your master’s in accounting—and other certifications in addition to a CPA—will give you a leg up when applying for jobs at leading Columbus companies.”
– Dr. Alan Rogers, Accounting professor at Franklin University
Top Columbus Employers Hiring Accountants and Auditors with Master’s Degrees
Financial and insurance-related activities comprise the top sector of economic output in the Columbus Region. But finance isn’t the only industry seeking out top-level accountants. The demand for accountants and auditors with master’s degrees is surging in many of Columbus’s thriving industries.
This list includes some of the most desirable employers for accountants and auditors—including three of the Big 4 accounting firms, as well as leading employers in the insurance, education, healthcare and manufacturing industries.
Working for companies like these is what many Columbus accounting professionals dream of. If you’re one of them, you have to ask yourself ‘Is a bachelor’s degree enough?’
In 2018, 703 people completed bachelor’s degrees in accounting at Columbus area institutions, while only 21 people completed master’s degrees. With high market demand for accountants with master’s degrees and such a small supply of new graduates, getting your master’s degree in accounting is a great way to move your resume to the top of the pile.
How a Master’s Degree in Accounting Can Set You Apart
Companies are looking for accountants with master’s degrees, we know that. But is a master’s degree in accounting right for you?
Here are four ways this degree will prepare you for the next stage in your career.
- Deepen knowledge of accounting principles. For accountants who want to be experts in their field, a master’s degree offers a depth of knowledge that can’t be matched by a bachelor’s degree. In fact, some master’s programs in accounting will allow you to choose a path of specialization that dives even further into the intricacies of areas like taxation and financial operations.
- Gain experience in the latest accounting methods and technology. Software and technology are rapidly changing and accounting methods change with it. A master’s in accounting will help you apply the latest tools to real-world challenges—bridging the gap between theory and practice. Plus, if you find the right program, you can also take courses in highly relevant topics like forensic accounting, data analytics and risk analysis to diversify your skill set.
- Fast track to prepare for certification exams. The Accountancy Board of Ohio requires 150 semester hours to sit for the CPA exam. A bachelor’s degree typically requires 120 credit hours to graduate—leaving 30 credit hours to earn. By getting your master’s degree in accounting, you not only earn the hours you need, you earn an additional credential that will set you apart from other CPAs without a master’s degree.
- Gain an executive skill set that prepares you for leadership positions. A master’s in accounting is about more than deciphering numbers. You will learn to take data and turn it into actionable insights that can influence business strategy. The critical thinking and communication skills you gain will prepare you for leadership positions like CFO, controller, internal auditor, or accounting manager.
A master’s degree in accounting is a lifetime investment that increases job prospects, earning potential and advancement opportunities—which all sounds great. But how will you make the time to get your master’s degree? Getting your master’s degree online is a great way to balance advancing your education and your career.
Franklin University is the only Columbus-area institution that offers a completely online master’s in accounting. Franklin’s IACBE Accredited program follows industry best practices while allowing you to complete your degree in as few as 17 months. Getting your master’s in accounting just got more attainable.
A Bright Future for Accountants with Advanced Degrees
The demand for accountants with advanced degrees will only continue to grow in Central Ohio. Whether you’re a new bachelor’s graduate preparing for the CPA, a seasoned accountant looking to break into leadership roles, or someone looking to change careers, a master’s degree in accounting could be just what you need to succeed.
This article is one installment of the Jobs & Education Outlook series, presented with paid support by Franklin University.
Franklin University is an accredited and nonprofit college in Columbus that has been dedicated to educating adults since 1902. Thinking about earning an accounting degree in Columbus? Explore the University’s online and on-campus offerings today. For more information, visit franklin.edu.